Family’s festive holiday nightmare as agent shuts
A FAMILY’S dream Christmas holiday in Florida has been shattered after the sudden closure of their travel agents.
The Burgesses, who were due to leave tomorrow (Friday), are now struggling to get back the £8,000 they paid.
All 10 Kent branches of the independent Brockmans Travel have ceased trading.
Dad Tim Burgess, of Hinxhill, Wye, said: “We were meant to get our tickets 10 days before the trip, and when we didn’t get them I rang the company.
“I got no reply and I ended up trying all branches in Kent, but there was no answer.
“Then I went to the Ashford High Street branch and there was a sign saying it had closed.”
Mr Burgess, 46, was looking forward to a two-week Christmas and New Year trip with his wife Debbie, 45, and daughter Susannah, 12.
He said: “We are gutted that we can’t go. This was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime and it would have been Susannah’s first trip to America.”
But Mr Burgess is hopeful he will now get his money back through negotiations between trade group the Association of British Travel Agents, and the tour operators.
A sign on the Brockmans Travel High Street branch now says: “Due to circumstances beyond the control of the staff of this office, we will be shut until further notice.”
The sign said those with a holiday already booked should contact their tour operator or ABTA.
The other Ashford branch, in Bank Street, has no notice but is empty with a to-let sign.
ABTA spokesman Frances Tuke said: “Brockmans Travel ceased trading on December 7 and we had terminated its membership with ABTA on November 4 because of non-payment of debts. We have not been notified of any liquidator and it is not exactly known why they ceased trading.”
Brockmans Travel had a head office at St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury, and its other branches were at Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital, Tenterden High Street, Herne Bay, Canterbury College, Thanet College, Mid Kent College, Gillingham, Manston and Headcorn.
Customers who have been affected by the closure of Brockmans Travel should contact their tour operators, or the ABTA claims inquiries office on 01202 596699.
The notice on the door of Brockmans Travel in Ashford High Street